Decarbonizing the operations of small and medium-sized road carriers in Europe

Written by Smart Freight Centre and Kühne Logistics University with original data from Transporeon — provides a unique insight into the SME carrier market. We surveyed over 800 carriers from across Europe to better understand their challenges and offer strategic solutions. 

Factors influencing carrier decarbonization efforts

Those participating in the Road Carrier Survey were asked to identify the five most important factors affecting decisions relating to the business as a whole and more specifically to decarbonization investments, chosen from a list of fourteen options.

  • The cost-saving potential was the highest-ranked factor by a significant margin, reflecting competitive conditions and slim profit margins in the European trucking industry. Expected return on investment was also highly ranked.
  • Customer demand was the second most highly rated factor, and highestranked among external factors, well ahead of legislation at either EU or national levels and public opinion.
  • Truck manufacturers (OEMs) which manufacture the vehicles, were considered the third most important driver of decarbonization in the road freight sector.
  • Of factors internal to the carriers, company culture and values were highly rated.

Excerpt from the report

43% of European carriers are unable to measure their CO2 emissions.

Today, the road freight transport market accounts for roughly 19% of European transport-related CO2 emissions.  However, 43% of European carriers are unable to measure their CO2 emissions, and 60% of small carriers believe that environmental efforts yield little or no commercial benefit. How can we move toward a more sustainable supply chain when so many carriers lack the ability to accurately measure or adjust their environmental impact?

Download the report